With the world becoming more eco-conscious, we are constantly being told to plant more trees, grow more plants around our Blouberg homes to help save the earth’s biospheres and reduce global warming, yet also to reduce our water consumption. However, very few of these green campaigners actually tell gardeners what kind of plants to grow on their property.
The reality is, only the plants that occur naturally in our environment are best to grow on Blouberg properties. Invasive and alien species are a big problem for a country like South Africa that possesses 10% of all plant species in the world.
But what exactly is an invasive/alien species and why are they so bad? Well, invasive species are plants that have their origins in other countries and have been brought here for their significance to humans but have, over time, started to grow out of control due to the lack of natural plant predators and other pests.
South Africa is a water scarce country (Blouberg residents will surely be aware of the impact water restrictions have had around our homes and gardens). Over time, our indigenous plants have come to develop ways of surviving with a limited amount of water. Many foreign trees and other plants are accustomed to having more water available than our own plant species. Consequently these foreign species use up more water, leaving even less for the indigenous plants already growing here.
When alien species naturalize themselves in a new environment (getting used to conditions they did not know before) the plants often pose a huge threat to others. Some of them excrete poisons and other harsh chemicals into the ground, effectively taking away the ability of our own plants to grow on our properties. If the invasive species were planted in their natural homes, neighbouring plants there would have adapted to survive the chemicals. Because our plants have never been exposed to these
chemicals they won’t have had the time to build up immunity.
Although a lot of invasive species provide food to local animals, not all of them do and some can even be dangerous. Some actually produce poisonous fruits and leaves that will harm any animals that eat them. Our country has been blessed with some of the most extravagant and beautiful flowers and as proud Blouberg residents we should each make an effort to grow them around our homes.
Here are a few flowering species you can plant in gardens around Blouberg that will thrive under the natural conditions of their home country.
- Josephine’s Lily (Brunsvigia josephinae)
- Confetti Bush (Coleonema pulchellum
- Forest Lily (Veltheimia bracteata
White Ways (Silene undulata)
- Window Phlox (Zaluzianskya lychnidea)
- Pou Blom (Spiloxene canaliculata)
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum crassinerve)
- Paintbrush Lilies (Scadoxus puniceus)